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New engineering degree sparks debate during Faculty Senate

Photo by: Lara Dietrich | Staff Photographer
The Ingram School of Engineering will soon have its own building.

A new engineering degree was a point of contention for Faculty Senate, April 4 at their weekly meeting.

The Curriculum Committee reported that they are working on creating a bachelor of science in civil engineering. Several senators, specifically those from the College of Liberal Arts, had reservations about the degree’s requirements.

Senator Janet Bezner of the College of Health Professionals expressed concern with the degree’s potential removal of the code 090 literature requirements, calling this action “dangerous.” She said students should receive at least half credit for a master’s degree program from this degree that will require more than 120 hours.

Nine senators voted to endorse the degree, while five abstained. The committee also announced they are moving forward with deleting the bachelor of science in material physics and replacing it with a concentration.

President Denise Trauth and Provost Gene Bourgeois attended the meeting as part of the monthly Presidential Academic Advisory Group. Trauth and Bourgeois addressed concerns about the new criminal background check policy,

“The reason we are creating this policy is simply because of the times we currently live in,” Trauth said. “We were triggered by the case at UT Austin and saw that we simply didn’t have a policy to check if people were convicted.”

Budgeting was explained for the University Lecturers and Academic Computing committees, as well as, Research Enhancement Programs.

The president explained budgeting for two committees, University Lecturers and Academic Computing, and the Research Enhancement Program.

According to Trauth, the largest amount of any new money goes toward raises, new positions for new programs and benefits for employees, including retirees. The money left is minimal and usually directed to the strategic plan for university growth.